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Duchess Omnium

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  1. Also the theory that the rules were to stop people giving up Long Term Moorings for Winter Moorings does not make sense, as you have to give 3 months notice to vacate a C&ART LTM.
  2. I agree with those who think the Paddington Basin moorings are a wonderful facility. You can moor there for 7 days completely FOC. A hotel in central London is a couple of hundred quid a night... What's to complain about? I've loved the two times I've been there, and both sets of my North American visitors/crew have been really impressed. Pangolin is mostly a country mouse, but she has her city mouse side...
  3. Broad locks are more fun if you can lock up or down with another boat. The best way is usually for both boats to enter the lock together (though you can't always convince your fellow boater). Otherwise narrow locks are definitely easier (and driving in is fun too: I always think it is like threading a needle.)
  4. Hi, Alan, Yes, as I said in my reply to Starry, I realised I misspoke... I did not mean the CART folk in offices were being phased out. I meant the folks on the ground who actually knew how much space there was, and who usually moored where and who needed to get moved nearer the access because of a hip op... etc, etc. There was one on my old mooring, and it was really useful to have him, until he was "retired" by BW. No such person on my new mooring, though when I won the auction the joining papers sent by BW said I should contact the Moorings Warden, who would tell me exactly where my spot was. I wandered around the mooring questioning everyone I met and they just shrugged and pointed : "I think there might be some space that way..."
  5. Hi, Starry, that is an interesting question, and I think the answer is technically "yes", but good luck trying to claim the extra feet... oh, just to add, when I said mooring managers were being phased out I meant the local person living on the moorings who was deputised by BW to check things out and keep things in order in return for reduced or no mooring fees. I didn't mean the person in the CART office who hasn't got a clue what's happening in reality.
  6. 1. Most people use a friend's address, although they might also have a PO box. A PO box address doesn't work for all purposes; sometimes you need s real address, so a willing friend is useful. 2. Have you looked at the boat you are renting? Some have gauges for some things, some have none, some have all. Some of them work... 3. You can moor anywhere except where it says you can't. Expect time limits to be enforced in central London. 4. Security is an issue. If you fit a car alarm, make sure it is one that doesn't go off every time another boat goes by or it will be your neighbours throwing a rock through your window to disable it. 5. I guess if you don't own the boat, the first thing contents insurers will want is evidence that the rental is all above board.
  7. It is definitely the case, as others have said, that the mooring you are bidding on is simply a length anywhere in that section. Also, it has nothing to do with the length of your boat -- it is the length CART reckons it has available. In practice, as soon as a mooring becomes available any local boats unhappy with their mooring shuffle around to choose the most desirable spots, leaving the newcomer with what is left. In theory anyone can take any spot if a boat goes away cruising, but no one would advise it in practice, as that kind of thing makes neighbours really, really mad. As Leo says, people set up gardens, sheds, etc (though that is always unofficial). Anyway, the idea is the new boat ought to get the worst spot, even if the new boat is paying more than anyone else... After 3 years you pay for the length of the boat, not for the length of mooring, but you still officially have no designated spot. Also "moorings managers" are being phased out.
  8. Hi, Dave_P, Well my experience was more than 2.5 years ago, but my friend went on to allow another person to "berth sit" after me for another year. I think she was gone altogether more than 3 years, and I was on her mooring for almost two years. I was several times questioned by moorings enforcement officers, but each time was able to refer them to written permission we had from BW (precisely under the section you quote) and every time they went away happy, because " berth sitting" is okay. I was always astonished that they let me stay so long, but it was all agreed and legal and I wasn't going to argue! I guess CART are now reinterpreting the rules and defining "short period" very tightly. But a week seems to me unreasonably short.
  9. "Berth sitting" a CART mooring is completely acceptable and legal, as long as the official moorer agrees and CART is informed. The "owner" of the mooring continues to pay the mooring fee and the sitter makes private arrangements with the official moorer. When I was having trouble finding my own mooring I did this for nearly two years. Now and again enforcement officers knocked on my window and asked why with a CC licence I was on a permanent mooring site, but when I explained and they checked all was well. It makes sense, because a boat on a long cruise isn't effectively taking up two spaces -- its home mooring and visitor moorings while it cruises. And people like me in crowded areas get a place to stay without bridge hopping while they sort out permanent moorings. Win win. (I did wonder about the arrangement when I thought my friend would never come home and I would nevr find my own mooring, but I did and she came home, and it all made sense). As for auctions, what Alan says it correct. The price you bid is fixed for 3 years and then you get to renew at the "local" rate, which is usually less, but could be more than you bid. In the meantime, nothing stops you from bidding on another mooring in the same spot, just in case it comes out cheaper (taking into account your notice period, when you will be paying for 2 moorings, and the fact that the clock will start again ticking off the 3 years before you will be paying the advertised price). So that may be why the guy beat you ofr his own mooring -- it wasn't his; but he was bidding on a mooring in the same place. I hope this is clear...
  10. Hi, Starry, I have had exactly this issue, snd I can't quite work out what is going on, but I managed to fry two mini inverters - both of which were well into the recommended output range, - and one laptop power supply, while my batteries happily ran everything else and showedvlovely states of charge. Two Maplins 150 watt inverters were completely destroyed -- the fuse blew and a replacement fuse blew again immediately. Maplins said it must be defective, but in a couple of weeks the second went too, then the laptop power supply was destroyed (not cheap to replace). I had to replace my laptop charger -- it took me a while to work out it had been destroyed, so do try yours again landside. Then I bought a cheaper, 75w inverter from Maplins. It didn't beep when it had low power, but it also didn't break... It just stopped working. I am still monitoring this, but my current analysis is that I can't charge my computer when the fridge is running (which it does intermittently all day long, so I need to be there when the computer is plugged in). It doesn't just stop charging -- things break. If I leave it alone for more than a few minutes I am back to buying a new charger. Oddly, I can run the water pump, watch the tele, and carry on all manner of other much more power intensive nefarious activities when the fridge is on. But not charge the computer. Possibly a pure sine inverter would fix this. But the money is too much. I prefer to listen for the fridge turning on, watch for the red lights on the inverter, and switch it off...
  11. Mine has lasted several years on duct tape.
  12. Hi, Erin, It's great you have found some boats that seem to fit your budget, and you have taken aboard (as it were) the need to get a survey. Also remember to be very careful to check ownership of the boat, especially if it looks a really good deal. I have some friends who bought a boat at a great price, and though the boat wasn't exactly stolen, it turned out it wasn't the guy's to sell -- he was part of a divorcing couple and the property settlement wasn't complete. My friends lost their money and the boat. As others have warned, I think you have to accept that you probably won't be able to live on the boat for less than you are now paying in rent (£500 a month). If you have a full time job you are going to find it very difficult to meet the continuous cruising requirements. CART are cracking down on boats without home moorings and enforcing frequent movements and significant distances, with no return to previous moorings in 28 days, etc. None of this has been fully tested in court, and there is a lot of controversy about it, but I think it is a fair bet that in the near future, if they find you shuffling back and forth over a five mile distance in the London area you will find yourself in a constant battle, endlessly fighting overstay notices and threatening letters -- maybe not what you thought was waiting for you on the canal. You will probably win some of the battles, but the war might not be worth it. A compromise might be to get a winter mooring so you can relax November-March and manage your moves (and inevitable longer commutes to work) when the days are longer and the weather (hopefully) better. But even winter moorings are now included in the auction system, and I am guessing that in London they will be pretty pricey. With license, insurance, winter mooring fees, diesel, coal, and maintenance, I think you will be well above £500/month. Without a winter mooring, the diesel will be much more expensive, as will your commute. Even so, you will probably pay less than £500/month -- as long as you don't end up in court, or with a pile of overstay fines. As for why I am living aboard, I'm into my 5th year, and have not regretted it. I bought a narrowboat when I decided it was time to sell the house in the lovely village I had lived in for 25 years. For some reason I thought my only possible consolation would be to buy a boat. I knew nothing about boats, narrow or otherwise. The one decision I did make was that I wasn't going to buy one and then never move it, and I have kept to that decision. I have twice taken it through every lock on the Thames, up to Lechlade and down to London, along the Grand Union, the Regents, and out at Limehouse, as well as shorter cruises on the Oxford Canal. I usually only move it with crew, but I can and do also move it on my own. Cruising is great fun. So is getting home to my own space with my towpath garden. If you are a cc'er you will need to be confident driving the boat on your own. On your budget, it will probably be a small boat, so at least no worries there. Good luck! Duchess
  13. On the Thames it is the area, not just the length. That seems reasonable to me. The logic of those who argue it should be based on the percentage of the system you can navigate is only a step away from a system based on where you do navigate, suggesting you could have a much cheaper, stay-put license, for boats that agree never to move -- but I don't think many people would think that was a good idea.
  14. Apparently he never met a woman on her own.
  15. Grace and Favour is right. If I sell my boat to you there is no VAT involved, because I don't ordinarily sell things and I am not registered. I have no idea what happens if you buy a boat from a VAT registered business like a broker. But that could explain the difference you have noted. But of anyone does tell you that a purchase is subject to VAT they MUST supply you with a VAT reg number on the invoice, which you can use to check.
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